Fri, 24 Sep 1999 13:48:29 -0700 (PDT)

Documentary video film TV success nostalgia New York City lifestyle
inspirational relationships children values non-fiction Bronx Pelham Parkway
Christopher Columbus High School
Copyright 1998 VHS Video 57 minutes
Color and black and white
What They Say -
· HBO said that "this is an important project…a powerful and inspiring film .
· New York Post called it a "deeply nostalgic and very moving little
documentary gem."
· School Library Journal said it is "an uplifting production …with lasting
· Billboard Magazine crowed - "this touching documentary is a testament to
the belief that success is measured not by wealth or fame, but instead by the
triumph of personal spirit."…It "weaves a tapestry rich in roads traveled
and not taken regarding family, religion, education and career."
· Daily News said that the film "tells an extraordinary story about some
ordinary guys who were bonded by neighborhood connections, camaraderie and
· The National Institute on Media and the Family said that "our raters felt
this was an excellent film and appropriate/recommended for all ages."
· Hillsdale College said "thank you for producing such an honest, heartfelt
tribute to an important piece of Americana. Would that more filmmakers work
reflected your values."
· USA Today's Director of Education Initiatives called it "a wonderful
· Also recommended by Library Journal, Video Librarian, Schools in the
Middle, Associated Press feature story and was picked up by 49 PBS stations.
About The Boys
· One man had an "ideal" divorce.
· Another loved his wife so much that he married her twice
· One man's daughter proudly proclaimed that her father could "read a book
and build a house." (He did.)
· Another was told by his high school guidance counselor that he should not
try to become an engineer because it was difficult for Jews at that time -
even though he had built the Eiffel Tower out of toothpicks at the age of 9.
· One man helped develop the granola bar and Uncle Ben's Rice after he almost
didn't make it through college.
· Another man founded a museum of jazz even though he never played a lick.
· One of the Boys became a distinguished cancer doctor even after having been
diagnosed with a debilitating muscle disease.
· A college dropout became a jet pilot in the Viet Nam war, U.S. Presidents'
travel advance man and Air Attache to Morocco, where his daughter played at
the palace with the niece of the King.
· One of the Boys became a world-renowned physicist - in Israel, but passed
away before his time.
· Another built an antiques newspaper with 40 pages and 292 advertisers
without any employees.
· One of the Boys overcame a devastating business loss and resulting
depression to rebuild his life and a new business.
· Another built a 70-employee garment business, retired at age 48, but could
tell people only that he was "semi-retired".
· One of the Boys' father said "every one of them, The Holland Avenue Boys, I
would be proud to call my son."
· One of the Boys' wives had only one regret - "that I was not one of the
Holland Avenue Boys."
Director's Statement
This is a different kind of success story.
Success is not always about wealth or fame.
For most, success is achieved through personal growth, satisfying careers,
comfortable lifestyles and rewarding relationships.
I made this film for people of all ages -
- to provide something positive and uplifting
- to provide inspiration, not by famous movie, TV or sports stars, but by
ordinary people
- to provide examples of the significance in ordinary lives so people can
feel better about their own lives
- to provide youngsters with direction, motivation and experiences that
illustrate how people order their lives and how parents can have more of an
impact on the lives of their children
- to provide an understanding of what values, traits and thought processes
are essential to the development of successful lives.
It is hoped that this film will change some habits, nudge people of all
ages in the right direction and encourage them to explore ways to make their
lives successful.
Howard Fischer, Director
Director of Photography - Tsuyoshi Kimoto
Editor - Nuria Olive-Belles
Music - Conquest/Talbot and Bejoodle Music
Narration - Roger Franklin
Pointers For Parents
Videos Can Be Educational
Experts agree that video viewing can be an educational and growth experience
for youngsters and their parents. Here are some suggestions to make video
time rewarding and beneficial:
1. Watch the video with your youngster. Answer questions as the program plays.
2. Invite your youngster to discuss the video when it's over. Ask what was
learned from watching it.
3. Preview videos before viewing with your youngster so that you are
comfortable with its content. Avoid those that stereotype on the basis of
sex, ethnic identity or handicaps.
4. When selecting videos consider quality titles that have been recommended
by educators or educational publications or organizations for your specific
age group.
5. Choose videos that have positive messages delivered by real role models.
6. Replay videos that you and your youngster enjoyed and from which you
7. As a community-minded parent, recommend videos to others who may also
benefit and suggest to your youngster to do likewise.
8. Invite friends of your youngsters and their parents to view videos jointly
and encourage group discussions and peer pressure to change, re-direct and
enhance youngsters' lives.
Discussion or Essay
A. Success
1. How do you define success?
2. What are the elements that contribute to success?
3. Who do you consider successful and why?
B. Personal Growth
What values, character traits and attitudes are necessary to be
C. Decisions
Discuss (a)educational choices, (b) careers - jobs or own
D. Relationships
Discuss your relationship[ with your - parents, siblings,
friends, role models, relatives, etc. and how they have influenced you in any
Who do you consider your role models and why?
E. Lifestyle
What type of residence (apartment, house,other) would you
prefer, in what location and why?
In what kind of hobbies or activities would you participate ?
1. Book Report - select a biography or autobiography of a successful person.
Example: scholar, educator, author, business person, athlete, actor/actress,
a. Include what that person did to become successful.
b. What, if any, obstacles did he/she need to overcome?
c. How was that person's environment different from today's and did it have a
positive or negative effect on his or her road to success?
2. Write a letter to someone successful.
a. What would you ask them?
b. Tell why you feel this person is a success and why you admire this person.
c. Explain what characteristics this person has that you would like to
3. History/Social Studies - student to select a successful person that lived
during a specific time period.
a. Using travel brochures about foreign countries, the United States, etc.,
have the student illustrate and describe what it was like in that country
during the life of that person.
b. What was the world like during this period?
c. Would you like to have lived during this time? Why/why not?
4. Make a mobile of the life of a successful person.
a. childhood years
b. young adult years
c. later years

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